The efficacy of infection prevention and control committees in Lesotho: A qualitative study

Am J Infect Control. 2018 Mar;46(3):e13-e17. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2017.11.028. Epub 2018 Jan 9.


Background: The implementation of the core components of infection prevention and control (IPC) recommended by the World Health Organization faces severe challenges, particularly in developing countries. Given that hospital IPC committees in these countries are the key implementers of IPC, there is a need to evaluate their effectiveness. This study qualitatively evaluated the effectiveness of IPC committees in the southern African country of Lesotho with the aim of identifying themes for policy discourse on improving IPC practice in the country.

Methods: Data gathering was conducted through open interviews with purposefully selected key informant IPC committee members and relevant officials at the Ministry of Health, whereas data analysis was based on grounded theory.

Results: Despite their commitment, IPC committees were largely ineffective because of 5 major barriers, namely poor sense of competence, administrative constraints, inadequate financial support, role uncertainty, and negative staff attitudes. Poor IPC governance was found to be a central barrier to the effectiveness of IPC committees in Lesotho.

Conclusions: The import of this study is that effective IPC governance is key to improving the IPC program in Lesotho. Effective leadership with the necessary competencies is needed to steer the IPC program in the country.

Keywords: Barriers to infection control practice; Infection prevention and control committees; Infection prevention and control governance.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / organization & administration*
  • Infection Control / standards
  • Leadership
  • Lesotho
  • Qualitative Research*
  • World Health Organization